Over the past few years, the office landscape has transformed into something entirely different from a traditional office. Instead of gloomy 9-to-5 days spent in a cubicle or conference room, employees spend their days collaborating with peers and clients from virtually everywhere. This change has made a difference—now, 77% of employees report that this flexibility benefits their mental health.1
How companies manage their physical and virtual office space has led to workplace trends and changes. Let’s look at office space management and office space management trends in 2022.
Office space management involves controlling and managing the software, workspace, and people in a physical space. In more recent years, this definition has expanded to include virtual and hybrid offices. Office space management was especially vital for social distancing and employee wellness at the height of the pandemic and is no less important today.
An optimized office space improves productivity through better employee retention, knowledge sharing, and effective communication. When they have the right office space management software, virtual offices reap the benefits, too.
Let’s analyze three office space management trends to maximize employee engagement and future-proof your office space.
The hybrid work model has become the dominant office space model of this decade. A survey from Gallup found that 53% of workers expect a hybrid arrangement, and 24% expect to work fully remote.2 According to the same survey, the number of people working remotely and hybrid will nearly double from pre-pandemic expectations.2
This change in work location will result in unfamiliar office space management techniques and software. In 2022, offices are already responding to changes in employee demand by focusing on workplace sustainability, connectivity, diversity, and flexibility.3 By responding to employees’ needs, companies will help redefine the optimal office environment.
Now, let’s start with the first and most important trend for office space management in 2022:
Research from CBRE found the most in-demand office amenities included flexible office space, open office space, and shared meeting space.4 With only 9% of employees expecting to work fully in-office, office spaces must tailor experiences and collaborative spaces to a mostly hybrid audience.2
A recent Salesforce survey found that 59% of professionals believe a hybrid work arrangement positively impacts their psychological well-being.5 In the same study, redesigned workplaces ranked among the top methods for making employees feel more comfortable while working in the office.5 This means optimizing your office space management practices for the hybrid work model is more important than ever.
If your company isn’t expecting to offer remote or hybrid work opportunities this year, consider that 25% of all professional jobs in North America will be remote by the end of 2022.6 Talented individuals will choose to work at an optimized and flexible office over a poorly designed one—even for less pay.7 Keep the hybrid office model in mind when restructuring your office space management plan for 2022 and beyond.
Employee engagement is essential for more than a company’s productivity. It directly impacts the global economy. Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace 2022 Report found that disengaged employees cost businesses and governments more than $7.8 trillion in lost productivity.8 That’s roughly 11% of the global GDP.
To lower this major expense, companies need to recognize employee engagement as a strategic advantage. By working actively to engage as many employees as possible through hybrid work events, DEI initiatives, and other programs, companies may be able to improve engagement and productivity levels across the organization.
Since employees and managers are spending 50% more time in collaborative work environments,10 it’s essential for companies to find ways to engage employees. Office space management software and online collaboration tools can improve productivity by up to 30%.9 These tools may include conferencing software, desk reservation tools, and office space management dashboards with real-time analytics to help inform decision-making.
Employees enjoy the flexibility and autonomy found in remote and hybrid work models. A hybrid working study by Harvard Business Review found that 59% of people report that flexibility is more important than salary or other benefits.11 Along the same lines, another 77% of respondents said they would “prefer to work for a company that gives them the flexibility to work from anywhere rather than fancy corporate headquarters.”
If employers aren’t ready or willing to create flexible schedules and office spaces for their employees, they should expect to lose talent to competitors who offer flexibility and autonomy for managers and employees. Consider the needs of your most introverted employees to create a work environment that supports both collaborative interactions and uninterrupted workspaces.12 Instead of hovering over employees and requesting multiple daily meetings, try reaching out over Slack or email to let employees respond in their own time.
Offices shouldn’t demand constant attention and interaction from employees and managers. Having flexible meeting rooms, collaborative desk clusters, and unstructured space can help employees break up the monotony of traditional office spaces.
A distributed workforce will change office space management in 2022 and beyond. Companies will adopt new technology and office space management software to automate administrative tasks and connect people. Additionally, office real estate will slowly shrink over time to reflect the focus on virtual offices and technologies. More companies will create unstructured physical spaces for employees, managers, and customers to connect in the way that best suits each case. The offices of tomorrow will be far different from the traditional office spaces of the past.
Do you need a solution to prepare your company for the future of work? OfficeTogether’s office space management software is designed to help hybrid offices manage desk and meeting room reservations, event planning, people tracking, and so much more. Request a demo today or contact us to see how we can help you optimize your office space!